06 December 2011

Lady Godifu

Once upon time, in life and legend, lived the Lady Godifu, who's epithet has passed into the histories of England, as Lady Godiva. Her husband, Leofric, ruled the Kingdom of Mercia, and thus the city of Coventry. The people, horrible oppressed under the yoke of heavy taxation, hoped in vain for relief. It was Godifu, herself, who came to their aid. As the narrative evolves, it tells of the Lady, in a understanding with her husband, riding through the streets of Coventry "naked" on horseback, to relieve the city dwellers of their oppression.

As time has passed, and a further understanding of Anglo Saxon culture has evolved, we now interpret her "nakedness in a new way. Could it have been that she was  simply "naked" of her beautiful clothes and  fine jewels? Interesting.

A subplot of the myth, which appeared in later centuries involved the role of a young man named Tom. As the tale continues, the citizens of Coventry shut their windows and doors, to preserve the lady's dignity. All citizens, except one, "Peeping Tom" who, it is said gazed lustfully at Godifu and was stuck blind for his indiscretion.

Another interesting tid-bit, Ealdgyth of Mercia, was the granddaughter of Godifu and Loefric, and the final Anglo Saxon Queen of England. She married Harold, who lost his life and thus his throne to William of Normandy.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy, Just stopping by to say hello and to thank you for visiting my blog. I loved this post! Happy holiday blessings to you and yours! ~Melissa